Pinto Bean Mushroom Soup for the Crockpot
This silky smooth soup boasts the delicious flavors of mushrooms and pinto beans, along with lemon and thyme to add an aromatic twist. Although the soup can also be made on the stove, using a crockpot is easier and also means the flavors will be smoother and more intense, so that is definitely our preferred cooking method for this dish. Use white button mushrooms, brown mushrooms, or another kind if you have some to use up. Maybe there are some mushrooms on sale at the store, in which case grab them because any type of mushrooms works in this delicious recipe.
Although pinto beans work perfectly well here, feel free to swap them for cannellini beans or another variety if you prefer. After sautéing the onion and garlic in butter, you can transfer them to the slow cooker and then add the other ingredients and cook the soup. If you prefer a chunky soup, add the beans and thyme an hour before the end of the cooking time, since the beans will disintegrate else. The thyme can be added later too, but opening the crockpot adds half an hour on to the cooking time, so we prefer just to add it with the other ingredients.
After cooking, the soup can be pureed in a food processor or blender, then served garnished with thyme leaves. You can also garnish it with parsley leaves or sprigs if you prefer. This soup can be frozen, another great reason to make it or even to double up on the recipe. Transfer serving-size portions into containers, then label and date them, and freeze for up to 4 months. You can thaw the soup overnight in the refrigerator then heat it gently in a pan on the stove. This mushroom and pinto bean soup is lovely served with crusty bread. Some people like to serve a dollop of sour cream in the soup, and then sprinkle the thyme over that, but we find it rich and creamy enough despite the fact there is no actual cream in the soup.
- 2 lbs roughly chopped button mushrooms
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 roughly chopped yellow onion
- 3 minced garlic cloves
- 5½ cups chicken stock
- 3 pieces of lemon zest, in 1 x 2 inch strips
- 10½ oz can of pinto beans
- 4 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
- Heat the butter in a large pot over a medium heat.
- Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes or until tender.
- Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds or until aromatic.
- Transfer the onion and garlic to the crockpot.
- Rinse and drain the pinto beans.
- Add them, and all the other ingredients (except half the thyme leaves) to the crockpot.
- Cook on low for 4 hours.
- Puree the soup in a food processor until smooth.
- Divide the soup between 8 bowls.
- Garnish with the remaining fresh thyme leaves, and serve hot.
Mushrooms, pinto beans and thyme blend with other ingredients to bring you this fantastic mushroom soup. You can make this in the crockpot for the best flavor, since slow cooking will coax all the flavors out of the ingredients and offer a better-tasting soup. Lemon and thyme, along with garlic, add aromatic flavors to the soup, and it boasts a creamy texture without there being any cream in the soup. Despite this offering the same rich mouth-feel as a classic cream of mushroom soup, this one is far lower in both calories and fat. Served with crusty bread, it makes a mouthwatering lunch.
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